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Three days of Korean traditional music day and night at 'Day Off'

May 14, 2023 - 16:21 By Hwang Dong-hee
Poster for "Day Off" (Seoul Namsan Gukakdang)

Young gugak artists will perform at the upcoming “Day Off” concert series, showing various charms of Korean traditional music set outdoors in Namsan Hanok Village.

The three-day event will take place in the garden of Seoul's Namsan Gukakdang in Jung-gu, with performances scheduled twice daily at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday.

On Tuesday afternoon, four-person samulnori group Variety E-Seo will perform, bringing the sounds of the "kkwaenggwari," "janggu," "jing" and "buk" while wearing colorful, twirling "sangmo," or ribboned hats. Traditional percussionist Jeong Cho-rong will perform in the evening with her iron-stringed "hyeongeum" -- a combination of a geomungo and a Hawaiian guitar invented in the 1940s -- crossing boundaries between improvisation and electronic music.

On Wednesday, ensemble Si Zak will add a contemporary melody to ancient poems and sijo in the afternoon, while pansori singer Kim Mu-bin will perform in the evening. Kim sings pansori based on “seodo sori,” which refers to folk songs that have been passed down in Hwanghae and Pyongan Provinces in today's North Korea.

On Thursday, Hilgeum, an ensemble of three traditional string instruments -- the geomungo, gayageum and haegeum -- will perform during the day. The three-day event will conclude with a performance by gayageum soloist Park Ji-hyun Thursday evening.

The event is free of charge and does not require a reservation to attend.